FORT MYERS, Fla. – Felix Doubront’s bid for a spot in Boston’s starting rotation took a hit when he allowed eight hits in 42/3 innings Monday as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Red Sox 8-4.

Doubront gave up two runs, struck out three and walked one.

“I thought there was a lot that was going on there with Felix,” Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said. “One, he did have men on base and never gave in, kept throwing the same kind of pitches. Two, he was able to work from behind, when he got behind, pretty well. And he was able to get ahead those other times really well, like 1-2. I stopped counting after like six one-ball-two-strike counts. But I didn’t see the nastiness 1-2, that killer pitch, that stuff that differentiates a lot of guys. And I’d like to see if he has it.”

Pinch-hitter Joe Benson put the Twins ahead with a three-run double in the sixth.

Loser Mark Melancon allowed three runs and three hits in one inning.

RANGERS: Catcher Mike Napoli can’t quite figure out why Los Angeles Angels pitcher and former teammate C.J. Wilson felt the need to send his phone number out on Twitter.

“I guess from what I hear it was because I said I was going to hit a home run off of him,” Napoli said Monday.

Wilson sent a tweet acting as if he was giving his former teammate his number, but instead posted an old phone number of Napoli’s. Wilson then deleted the tweet and called it a prank.

Later Wilson tweeted, “Okay I think we’ve all had a good time, I’m even with mike for saying he can’t wait to hit homers off me.”

Napoli said he hasn’t spoken to Wilson since last season ended.

 

TIGERS: Third baseman Miguel Cabrera left a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., with a bloody face after a hard grounder from Hunter Pence hit him near the right eye.

Cabrera was taken to a hospital to receive stitches and get precautionary X-rays.

Cabrera was wearing sunglasses, and it’s uncertain whether the wicked one-hopper hit the right lens or just under it. He wiped blood off with his hand and held a towel to his face as he walked off the field.

 

TWINS: Minnesota assigned struggling infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Triple-A Rochester in hopes he can find his game in the minor leagues.

Nishioka was hitting .240 in nine games this spring.

 

PHILLIES: Second baseman Chase Utley is leaving camp to see a specialist about his injured right knee.

Utley hasn’t played in a game this spring because of a chronic knee condition.

 

MARINERS: Less than two years after making the NL All-Star team, left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo was released by Seattle.

Signed to a $500,000 contract last month, Kuo had a 17.55 ERA in six spring training appearances over 62/3 innings. He allowed 13 earned runs and gave up five home runs.

Kuo was an All-Star in 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers but struggled last season with a back problem early in the season and missed a month with an anxiety disorder. During his standout 2010 season, Kuo as 3-2 with 12 saves in 13 chances and a 1.20 ERA.

By releasing him Monday, Seattle owes 30 days’ termination pay, which comes to $81,967.

 

ROYALS: Closer Joakim Soria will have his sore right elbow checked by Dr. Lewis Yokum in Los Angeles today.

Soria left Sunday’s game after retiring only one of five batters he faced and said after the outing that his elbow felt “really bad.”

Royals spokesman Mike Swanson said the team believes Soria has some damage in his area of his ulnar collateral ligament.

Soria had Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2003. He has been one of the best relievers in the American League since his rookie season of 2007, but his performance fell off last year. His ERA jumped to 4.03 and he had 28 saves.